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Laurarn
07-17-2005, 09:13 PM
Ok. Here's a new topic that I haven't seen here before. My sister is traveling with me and 2 other sisters this fall and she is still breastfeeding her infant. She'd like to pump while cruising, however, my question is, can you bring the pumped breastmilk back through customs (in bags or bottles)? (We're cruising without hubbies and kids this trip). I'm an OB nurse, but I'm stumped on the customs part. Does anyone know? Thanks! :confused3

calmom
07-17-2005, 09:30 PM
I don't see any reason why you couldn't - only restriction I think is fruit or drugs! Half the ship probably has sippy cups of milk on hand as they pass through customs. I can't imagine why breast milk would be any different. There is a small cold box in the room to store it - you might want to see if she can get permission to go straight to her room to put the milk in the refridge to keep it cold so she doesn't have to carry it around that first day while they get the room ready. Actually, I would just go under the rope that blocks you off and go straight to your room. Her stateroom hostess would probably be there, and your sister can just explain about dropping off the milk in the refridge. Good luck! I'm sure someone out there has some more specific experience, but as I said - we had no problem w/regular milk. Lisa

JennsBabySky
07-17-2005, 09:48 PM
The tricky part is going to be figuring out how to freeze the milk and get it back before it completely thaws. If she just kept it refrigerated, it would only be good 8 days from when it was pumped, I'm not sure if she would be able to use it up that quickly. So, her best bet is probably to freeze it. It is only considered thawed once there is no ice crystals in the milk, so partially thawed is still fine. I'd check with DCL to see if I could get a freezer for the trip. I used to store my milk in freezer bags made be Bailey. I loved these because they were very thick and durable. I remember trying to figure out the logistics once for a week business trip I had to do. I had a small freezer stash and could not afford to let any go to waste.

Here are the recommendations from the La Leche League:

Storage Guidelines
Storing milk in 2-4 ounce amounts may reduce waste. Refrigerated milk has more anti-infective properties than frozen milk. Cool milk in refrigerator before adding to frozen milk.

Human milk can be stored

at room temperature (66-72F, 19-22C) for up to 10 hours
in a refrigerator (32-39F, 0-4C) for up to 8 days
in a freezer compartment inside a refrigerator (variable temperature due to the door opening frequently) for up to 2 weeks
in a freezer compartment with a separate door (variable temperature due to the door opening frequently) for up to 3 to 4 months.
in a separate deep freeze (0F, -19C) for up to 6 months or longer.
What Type of Container to Use

Refrigerated or frozen milk may be stored in:

hard-sided plastic or glass containers with well-fitting tops
freezer milk bags that are designed for storing human milk
Disposable bottle liners are not recommended.

RichNKatHolly
07-17-2005, 10:31 PM
Just one thing to consider, the fridge may not be cold enough in the stateroom. I remember ours just keeping things cool. I don't think they call it a fridge actually.

I'm sure there is somewhere on the ship it can be stored. Target sells those car ice boxes that you plug in for about $20. I don't know if that would work, she'd have to look into it.

Enjoy the cruise though!!!

ctry
07-18-2011, 06:34 AM
Laurarn-
I am in a similar situation as the one you described. I will be cruising the Magic for 7 days in October and leaving my almost 6 month old baby at home. He will not have started on solid food yet. I am also an OB nurse but stumped about what to do! I am wondering about pumping on the ship, storing milk and bringing it back through customs. How was the experience for your sister? Did her supply suffer because of strictly pumping for a week? How old was her baby, and did the baby easily go back to breastfeeding? Thanks for the reply :)

princesskayla
07-18-2011, 08:41 AM
I hope it works out for you two. I had the same experience with a cruise while my baby was 9 mo old. It was with Carnival and they did not have any refrigeration available. I started pumping and getting ice and replacing it lots! I finally decided it was not worth it because I could not figure out how I was going to declare it through customs and keep it cold all the way home with the proper temps. I just pumped, dumped and drank a few cosmos and did not worry about. It made me a happier person. My advice - just pump like you would at home, drink a few drinks and dump the milk and don't stress about it. That sweet baby will be just fine without it.

(I had to drink to have a "good" reason to dump the liquid gold! :rotfl: )

PS- I'm an OB nurse too!

mmouse37
07-18-2011, 08:44 AM
FYI....this thread is six years old....not sure the OP is still around!

MJ

princesskayla
07-18-2011, 08:45 AM
Laurarn-
I am in a similar situation as the one you described. I will be cruising the Magic for 7 days in October and leaving my almost 6 month old baby at home. He will not have started on solid food yet. I am also an OB nurse but stumped about what to do! I am wondering about pumping on the ship, storing milk and bringing it back through customs. How was the experience for your sister? Did her supply suffer because of strictly pumping for a week? How old was her baby, and did the baby easily go back to breastfeeding? Thanks for the reply :)

To answer your questions: My supply decreased a little but it quickly went back up when I home. When I got home, my sweet baby took on look at me and then promptly started breastfeeding, and she still has not stopped! (I need to go on another cruise without her and hopefully she would be over the whole breastfeeding thing - she is two now.)

peachygreen
07-18-2011, 08:50 AM
I had my baby with me but still pumped a little on our cruise. I was going to pump more to try to keep my extra pumping session supply up but it didn't work out so well.

Anyway I was on the Magic and called ahead and requested a real fridge for the room. The cooler box wouldn't have been sufficient to keep milk at a steady temperature. I had a small fridge taht sat in the spot where your feet would go under the desk. This meant that the chair that was supposed to sit there (along with the pack n play) were in the middle of the floor and made the room feel smaller than it is.
As I was using some of the milk (for excusions and nursery time) I didn't freeze it but just refridgerated it.
My hardest part was getting back through TSA security to fly home. I didn't have any problems getting it back in the country. I asked in advance and was told it was not something you had to declare to customs (I would recommend asking yourself because rules change all the time). When I left the ship I asked for some ice and filled a couple of gallon zip lock storage bags. I put the ice and the milk inside a soft side cooler. Then when I go the the airport I dumped the ice and refilled on the other side of security. WHen I got off the plane I did the same thing and my milk made it home still cold and I used those bottles first the next day for school.

peachygreen
07-18-2011, 09:01 AM
FYI....this thread is six years old....not sure the OP is still around!

MJ

I just noticed that. I read the dates and not the years. 7/17 was just yesterday but yesterday 5 years ago. LOL. My advice on working with TSA still stands though. I've had to do the ice bag trick several times flying for work. It is much easier than to deal with partially frozen ice packs.

In addition, if you can it is much easier to get through TSA if you put your milk in bags in volumes of 3oz or less. It just makes it easier to check and they don't hastle you about it as much.

mmouse37
07-18-2011, 12:00 PM
I have no problem with the thread....just wanted people to know it was not a current thread.

MJ

ctry
07-19-2011, 05:37 AM
FYI....this thread is six years old....not sure the OP is still around!

MJ

I noticed that, but thought it was worth a shot :) Thanks!